Finnish DefMin Interest in F-35s NOT Gripens

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spazsinbad

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Unread post04 Mar 2019, 22:29

'magitsu' asked: "...Has anyone besides the USN publicly considered buying F-35C?..."

Thread starter: UK MOD in a muddle over F-35C: viewtopic.php?f=58&t=15969
RAN FAA A4G Skyhawk 1970s: https://www.faaaa.asn.au/spazsinbad-a4g/ AND https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCwqC_s6gcCVvG7NOge3qfAQ/
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ricnunes

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Unread post05 Mar 2019, 14:43

magitsu wrote:Has anyone besides the USN publicly considered buying F-35C?


Canada also seem to have briefly considered the F-35C (circa 2010 if my memory does't fail me) due to its refueling boom being compatible with current Canadian Air Force tanker aircraft (probe and drogue system) and eventual longer range (compared to other F-35 variants such as the -A).
However due to lower cost and better performance the F-35A was selected (and the F-35C range apparently isn't also that longer compared to the -A), this before the current Canadian Prime Minister being elected and thus the F-35A purchase being replaced by the current competition (with all the "saga" in between).
A 4th/4.5th gen fighter aircraft stands about as much chance against a F-35 as a guns-only Sabre has against a Viper.
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magitsu

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Unread post05 Mar 2019, 14:47

ricnunes wrote:Canada also seem to have briefly considered the F-35C (circa 2010 if my memory does't fail me) due to its refueling boom being compatible with current Canadian Air Force tanker aircraft (probe and drogue system) and eventual longer range (compared to other F-35 variants such as the -A).
However due to lower cost and better performance the F-35A was selected (and the F-35C range apparently isn't also that longer compared to the -A), this before the current Canadian Prime Minister being elected and thus the F-35A purchase being replaced by the current competition (with all the "saga" in between).

This was a good reminder. The UK non-catapult carrier otoh was obvious and in no way comparable to Finnish situation. Since there's no tankers either, I'm not sympathetic the blogger's suggestion that way more expensive F-35C with expected production of just 300+ frames could make sense. Soon probably somebody's going to argue for Rafale M. :doh:
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SpudmanWP

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Unread post05 Mar 2019, 19:38

ricnunes wrote:
magitsu wrote:Canada also seem to have briefly considered the F-35C (circa 2010 if my memory does't fail me) due to its refueling boom being compatible with current Canadian Air Force tanker aircraft (probe and drogue system) and eventual longer range (compared to other F-35 variants such as the -A).

The P&D function can be built into the A upon request.

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ricnunes

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Unread post05 Mar 2019, 20:11

SpudmanWP wrote:
ricnunes wrote:Canada also seem to have briefly considered the F-35C (circa 2010 if my memory does't fail me) due to its refueling boom being compatible with current Canadian Air Force tanker aircraft (probe and drogue system) and eventual longer range (compared to other F-35 variants such as the -A).

The P&D function can be built into the A upon request.

Image


Thanks for the info Spudman :thumb:

I remember at the time reading that adding a probe and drogue system to the F-35A would add cost to the aircraft hence why the F-35C was (briefly) beign considered. Although something tells me that such extra cost would IMO be quite less than the extra cost of a F-35C (your info seems somehow to "confirm" this). Which could have been another reason why Canada settled for the F-35A back then - This before PM JT's cluster f**k that is...

What's even more comical (as things seem to be military wise in Canada) is that likely nothing like this will matter since Canada is looking for a new fleet for Tanker aircraft for the early 2020's (more of less at the same time that the new fighter aircraft is expected to enter in the RCAF service) so if Canada selects the F-35A then Canada will likely select a Tanker aircraft with the Flying boom system (instead of the drogue system).
A 4th/4.5th gen fighter aircraft stands about as much chance against a F-35 as a guns-only Sabre has against a Viper.
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hythelday

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Unread post05 Mar 2019, 21:32

magitsu wrote:I don't understand that C speculation.


I don't think he means it seriously. After the C he also talks about B, FWIW. There's hardly any case for the C; Hornet was chosen for other reasons other than it's carrier-ness (radar missile compability/performance vs F-16 anno 1991)
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Unread post06 Mar 2019, 06:34

SpudmanWP wrote:
ricnunes wrote:
magitsu wrote:Canada also seem to have briefly considered the F-35C (circa 2010 if my memory does't fail me) due to its refueling boom being compatible with current Canadian Air Force tanker aircraft (probe and drogue system) and eventual longer range (compared to other F-35 variants such as the -A).

The P&D function can be built into the A upon request.

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So, could we ever see a F-35A with both types of refueling systems at once??? Would such a mix have merit??? :|
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Unread post06 Mar 2019, 06:40

New tankers can refuel with Probe/Drogue or Boom/Receptacle, to me it would seem no one would be interested in a dual capable air refueling capability for F-35A; especially if said dual ARF F-35A operator had to pay for design/tests etc.
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Corsair1963

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Unread post06 Mar 2019, 08:16

spazsinbad wrote:New tankers can refuel with Probe/Drogue or Boom/Receptacle, to me it would seem no one would be interested in a dual capable air refueling capability for F-35A; especially if said dual ARF F-35A operator had to pay for design/tests etc.



Good point would hardly be cost effective. For the extremely rare case they would need both....
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ricnunes

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Unread post06 Mar 2019, 17:58

Corsair1963 wrote:
spazsinbad wrote:New tankers can refuel with Probe/Drogue or Boom/Receptacle, to me it would seem no one would be interested in a dual capable air refueling capability for F-35A; especially if said dual ARF F-35A operator had to pay for design/tests etc.



Good point would hardly be cost effective. For the extremely rare case they would need both....


Agreed.
And I would even venture to say that the adding that second Probe and Drogue System to the F-35A would also increase its weight.
Although I don't have much of a clue of how much weight would this system add but in any case any I would say that any "unnecessary" extra weight is always too much for any aircraft.
A 4th/4.5th gen fighter aircraft stands about as much chance against a F-35 as a guns-only Sabre has against a Viper.
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Unread post07 Mar 2019, 15:55

Finnish competitions, Loke's predictions of fighter jet rankings:

A. Performance only, ignoring costs:

1. F-35
2. SH/Growler
3. Rafale
4. Typhoon
5. Gripen E/F


B. Performance, taking into account life cycle costs:

1. F-35
2. SH/Growler
3. Gripen E/F
4. Rafale
5. Typhoon

Without the Growler, I suspect the SH would have dropped one down on each of the lists... however, the combo SH/Growler is a clear and strong number 2 in both rankings. And the Gripen E/F will jump up when life cycle costs are taken into account -- not that it matters much since the winner (F-35) takes it all.

The above is based on analysis of the Swiss leaks, the Danish eval, the Brazilian competition, and several news reports over the years.
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magitsu

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Unread post07 Mar 2019, 16:42

Last time around it went like this:
1. F/A-18 Hornet C/D (3rd cheapest in 30y lifecycle cost, 2nd cheapest to purchase, 2nd cheapest overall)
2. Mirage 2000-5 (difficult maintenance scheme, userbase small leading likely to high maintenance costs)

Failed:
*Gripen A/B (prototype stage, significant completion risks)
*F-16C/D (cheapest overall, didn't meet all FiAF specs, GD apparently also didn't take security of supply/industry participation seriously - domestic industry participation unacceptable)
*MiG-29 (most expensive, avionics not up to spec, not enough service life, maintenance scheme unacceptable)

That assessment is based on FiAF eval that went public after 25 years, in summer 2017. The reveal story is here if you want to google translate: https://www.iltalehti.fi/kotimaa/a/201707022200238131

Prices:
F-16 8.67 billion FIM purchase price, 30y life cycle cost estimate at 1992 prices 5.5 billion FIM
F-18 9.789 billion, 6.2 billion
JAS 10.653 billion, 5.8 billion
2000-5 10.153 billion, 6.7 billion
MiG 11.040 billion, 10.7 billion

5,94573 FIM = 1 EUR

Based on this I expect Rafale to place higher. It's not a prototype (Gripen) and it's quite guaranteed to be used by the French for the whole duration of the Finnish timeline unlike some others. It's also only clearly different choice from others (non-ITAR). The Swiss performance analysis also gives reason to rate its performance highly. The effect of Growler is the hardest to predict since it hasn't appeared in any competition thus far.

The project will lead to just one recommendation. The military has hinted that they'd like to redo the whole comp if their recommendation isn't followed. That to me reads like a soft bluff, but it might prevent some trigger happy politicians trying to score points too easily. There's a broad agreement among all parties that the capability of the Hornets is to be replaced (in full). We'll see what the specific interpretations of that are. New government is voted in before this summer.
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hythelday

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Unread post07 Mar 2019, 21:22

In 1990, the Soviet Union attempted to attract Finland to the development of a combat machine for export markets to third countries.


Whoops, flash forward to India/FGFA situation and suddenly you undestand why Finns got cold feet :D

Any idea what criteria didn't F-16 meet exactly?
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Unread post07 Mar 2019, 21:27

hythelday wrote:Any idea what criteria didn't F-16 meet exactly?

in 1992? No BVR missile would be my guess.

EDIT* Nevermind, I forgot that they were Sparrow compatible.
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ricnunes

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Unread post07 Mar 2019, 21:38

sprstdlyscottsmn wrote:
hythelday wrote:Any idea what criteria didn't F-16 meet exactly?

in 1992? No BVR missile would be my guess.

EDIT* Nevermind, I forgot that they were Sparrow compatible.


And the first AMRAAM kill was done by a F-16 in late December 1992, so I imagine that the AMRAAM would have been integrated on the F-16 earlier during the year of 1992, no?
A 4th/4.5th gen fighter aircraft stands about as much chance against a F-35 as a guns-only Sabre has against a Viper.
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